Universidad Nacional de Rosario - Facultad de Odontología
Diciembre 30, 2015 | 3 ′ 52 ′′
The School of Odontology carried out an investigation on the use of piercings among the students of the first years of the career considering the age, most frequent locations, adverse reactions and lesions, as well as the motives which led them to use them and take them out.
Body piercing has been a common practice for many years in diverse cultures to reflect religious or spiritual values. Although it becomes impossible to set in what exact moment it appeared in the history of humanity, the most antique representation known is that of a dog created in Egypt near the year 1500 B.C, when it was considered a symbol of royalty.
For the antique Mayas it was a symbol of spirituality, virility and bravery and Eskimos inserted a “labret” in the lower lip as a symbol of the passage to the adult age in children and as a purification act in girls. The perforation of lips, cheeks or tongue was also a traditional practice in Indian, Chinese and American cultures.
Currently, this tendency increases rapidly among the youths due to rebellion, audacity, sense of belonging to a definite group or simply by aesthetic or fashion reasons.
According to a survey done by students of the Department of Dental Materials of the Universidad Nacional de Rosario (UNR) in charge of dentist Bibiana Attorresi, 44% uses piercings and 14% had them, but took them away. Among the most frequent localizations are the ears (57%), except for those done at birth, the navel (25%), the nose (16%), the eyebrows (11%), the tongue (11%) and the lips (7%).
Regarding the materials used, the bone, wood, ivory and stones used in the past to make crafts and ornaments were now replaced by metals like surgical steel and titanium, “because they are more resistant to corrosion”, as dentists Georgina Antoneda and Valeria Fernández explained, although they clarify that the most noble metal is gold.
Another data contributed by the survey is that the beginning of adolescence is the stage in which young people generally decide to have piercings done, while the reasons to take them away coincide with the start of a university career or jobs.
“Sometimes they have it done between friends or by an unauthorized tattooists”, explained the professors and warned that if asepsis measures are not taken, such as the sterilization of the materials, complications can emerge at local as well as at systemic level, which in some cases obliges to take it out; for example, hemorrhage, infections, chronic inflammation with discomfort, damage in the dental pieces and periodontium, to more serious problems like bacterial endocarditis which compromise the patient’s health.
This is the reason why this research intends to be a contribution to raise awareness among the population of future dentists of the potential risks that these practices can mean for health in order to spread and prevent them.
Likewise, during this year, the students that present any kind of alteration caused by the use of piercings will be evaluated by professors of the department of Stomatology with the aim of diagnosing and dealing with their treatment from a multidisciplinary point of view if it is necessary.
Silvana Di Stéfano
Secretaría de Comunicación y Medios - Dirección de Prensa
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